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Sound your air horns and grab your lawn chairs, families.  Parade season just started in Sonoma County!

While I've never missed an opportunity to sit on the curbside and watch a local parade, this year will mark the first time I've ever walked in a parade.  No, I don't need to practice my "princess wave."  But I will get to delight crowds by handing out tons of cool freebies!  Sono-ma is providing seeds to help encourage families to get outside and garden (yes, we love igrow!) AND we'll be helping Whole Foods pass out samples from generous locally based vendors.

Petaluma's Whole Foods Market invited Sono-Ma to participate in the Whole Foods parade unit, which will proudly march in the 29th Annual Butter and Eggs Parade this Saturday April 24, 2010.  Building on the theme "Petaluma's Shining Moments", Whole Foods pulled together a community parade team to demonstrate Whole Foods shining community building efforts in Petaluma.  From teaching kids about worm bins to Earth Day puppet shows and more, Whole Foods Petaluma has much to celebrate when reflecting on bringing community together.

I adore the way Whole Foods Market works to be a family friendly store, and I am thrilled to join in their parade team.  Bryles and I will be representing Sono-Ma - perfect since this whole gig is about being a mom and loving it!

So what does a crafty mama do when preparing to be in a parade??  She gets creative about decorating a mini-float, making Sono-Ma "costumes", and creating a fun take home treasure! 

Pull out the wool felt, the photo transfer paper, commandeer a few underused hats, shop for a couple of white t-shirts, and you've got the makings for a ton of fun branding materials.

I know Vista Print offers t-shirts and hats for pretty cheap, but mine are homemade with love!  We also made some giant flowers to decorate his float (aka Radio Flyer wagon pictured above) You too can take your mom-made business and get it out there by using photo transfer paper and an iron. 

Next, I wanted to join in with the other Whole Foods vendors and have something to pass out to the crowd.  What does an eco-centered, health food lovin' mom give local families?  Balloons and plastic gizmos are out, and suckers or candy are off the list....  Why not seeds?  Sono-Ma's aim is to "help grow local families," so Bryles and I created 300 seed packets to gift to parade goers.

We used coin envelopes and mailing labels to package our hand gathered cilantro seeds (thanks Nina Bleue!).   My hope is to inspire families to go on-line to get information about starting a kitchen garden, while checking out Sono-Ma.   The new site is due out on May 13, and I can't wait to share this Sonoma County mom on-line resource and community.

We hope to see you at the Butter and Eggs Parade!

For information about this parade and all of the other fabulous community marches slated for coming weekends, please read this Sonoma County Parenting Examiner Article: "Parade season in Sonoma County showcases community, culture, and family fun at its best."


  1. Sono-Ma: Holly White-Wolfe // May 1, 2010 at 7:45 AM  

    What a fantastic day!

    Petaluma Whole Foods Melissa Mueller shares:

    "Here are the pictures from our participation in the annual Butter & Eggs Day Parade (4/24), a Petaluma tradition attracting more than 40,000 people to downtown. We invited local vendors and organizations we have supported (i.e. animal shelter, local schools) to join us in the parade as an illustration of the WFM community. We pushed shopping carts adorned with our WFM family of logos (including local, 365, whole trade, whole deal, health starts here, 5% day, etc.) and passed out 10,000+ samples to the crowd. The day was a raging success, with parade goers, announcers, and our participants all agreeing they had never seen such an endearing, effective, and moving collective representation of “community” from a business, especially from such a diverse group. More work went into this than anyone who didn’t help could imagine so thanks to everyone who worked so hard behind the scenes and in the parade to make this happen, and with such fun and collaboration. Thanks so much to our vendors who graciously donated product for this event, and we hope to do it again next year (but with a flat bed truck instead of shopping carts, and many, many more people to pass out products.) "

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